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Full text of "Journeys In Persia And Kurdistan ( Vol.Ii)."

LETTER xxis THE GATHOLIGOS OF THE EAST              293

He and his family are very proud both of ancestry
and position. Within limits his word is law; a letter
from him is better than any Government passport or
escort through the nearly inaccessible fastnesses of the
Ashirets; " By the Head of Mar Shimun/' and " By the
House of Mar Shimun " are common asseverations, but he
and his are exposed constantly to indignities and insults
from minor Turkish officials and from Kurdish chiefs,
and the continual disrespect to his person and office is
said to be eating into his soul.

He wears a crimson fez with a black pagri, a short
blue cloth jacket with sleeves wide at the bottom and
open for a few inches at the inner seam, blue cloth
trousers of a sailor cut, a red and white striped satin shirt,
the front and sleeves of which are very much en evidence,
and a crimson girdle, but without the universal tikanjar.

This is the man who is the head at once of a church
and nation, the temporal and spiritual ruler of the Syrian
people, the hereditary Patriarch, the CatJiolicos of the
East, whose dynastic ancestors ranked as sixth in dignity
in the Catholic Church in its early ages. It was not,
however, till the early part of the fifth century, when the
Church of the East threw in her lot with Nestorius, after
his condemnation in 431 by the Council of Ephesus for
"heretical" views on the nature of our Lord, that the
Catholicos of the East assumed the farther title of
Patriarch. As I look on Mar Shimun's irresolute face,
and see the homage which his people pay to him, I recall
the history of a day when this Church, which only
survives as an obscure and hunted remnant,, planted
churches and bishoprics in Persia, Central Asia, Tartary,
and China; its missionaries, full of zeal and self-sacri-
fice, brought such legions into its fold that in the sixth
century the ecclesiastical ancestor of this Patriarch,
then resident at Baghdad, ruled over twenty-five metro-